Great Trains Of America set (Goldhil)
C Sound: C+ Extras: B- Programs: B-
has taken some interesting programs from 1992 on trains and packaged them as a
set. Great Trains Of America is divided into two DVDs; one on Eastern U.S. trains, the other on Western
trains. The primary programs run only
under 30 minutes, but additional clips in supplement sections and fun
sound-only segments that add up to about five hours between the two DVDs.
would seem all of this could have fit on one DVD, it needed two. The Eastern DVD covers New Hampshire, the Amish area in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, and the origins of the railroads
in the U.S. as the country expanded. It offers a rare look at some great trains
that are very unique, well-crafted, and often one-of-a-kind. A dozen years later, it is valid to speculate
what has happened to these trains. The
Western DVD is more of the same, which is good.
the Colorado Rockies Georgetown Loop, Grand Canyon Railway, and many places in California where all the lines finally ended
after the Great Expansion that made railroads in this country legend and one of
the early marvels of the Industrial Age.
Though I wanted much more, this is not a bad set. There is certainly much more to be said, but
this is not just done on a family fluff level, and fans will appreciate the
frame videotaped images show their age from the NTSC analog videotape sources,
but the color is often nice just the same.
The sound has been remixed for Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3 sound, which
benefits the trains’ footage the most, but it cannot hide or improve the old
sound otherwise. This is still far
better than monophonic or simple stereo sound, so Goldhil made the right call here. A bonus debuting on both DVDs involves an
audio-only section that allows you to enjoy the audio of trains running. This is a fun novelty that has surprisingly
NOT surfaced on other DVDs, proving one again not enough fun things are being
done with the format to begin with.
titles on video, even ones on toy trains like A History Of Lionel Trains, have a big, loyal following and this is
an interesting addition to that special interest category. This and many other interesting special
interest titles are available from the Goldhil Company at their website: www.goldhil.com, where you can get more
information on their growing catalog.
- Nicholas Sheffo